Posted by: hazelmeda | March 12, 2012

All the world’s a stage

SOUTH African singer Sibongile Khumalo brought her international experience to Wits last week to help dramatic arts students prepare for the global stage.

Khumalo, who did an Honours degree in music history at Wits, spent three hours putting the cast members of Relativity – Township Stories through their paces at the Wits School of Arts.

The workshop was part of the 25-member cast’s preparation for the Setkani/Encounter Festival in Brno, Czech Republic, next month.

“We don’t just want to be known here in Jo’burg,” director Tshepo Mamatu said. “We want the world to hear us. It’s about speaking to the world, not just our backyard.”

The drama students were excited about working with Khumalo and about being the only group chosen to represent Africa at the international theatre schools festival.

“We are taking the dream a little bit further. We thought it was going to end on the Wits stage,” said Busisiwe Mtshali, a 3rd year drama student.

Khumalo shared advice her father had given her about remembering the purpose of the performance. She helped the actors tap into their own spirituality to portray their characters effectively.

According to Mamatu, the University has pledged most of the R200 000 needed for the trip.

Mamatu was thankful for the support and said the arts were normally the poor cousins of the sciences but in this case the University management had been very supportive of the drama group.

“It’s like parents who support you even if others have doubts about you. We are humbled by that.”

He promised the group would put Wits on the map and show that the university was producing work of international standard.

Read more about Khumalo’s intense, emotional workshop at www.witsvuvuzela.com.

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